From abbreviations to acronyms, the way millennials communicate with each other has taken the world by storm. Young individuals are beginning to redefine the English language by using clever phrases with deeper meaning. 2017 was all about squad goals, getting lit, fam this and fam that. This year, there has been a shift towards living your best life and being wholesome. But perhaps the most recent, commonly used phrase is ‘yeet’. What is a yeet? Does it mean yes but with a ‘t’? Apparently not. In the lingua franca of millennials, yeet is a phrase used to express excitement. Absolutely revolutionary. Who would have known?
If we think about it from a historical perspective, the English language has without a doubt changed over time. Dating back as far as the late 1500s when “wherefore art thou Romeo” used to be a thing, to the ‘gnarly’ 80s, and the ‘rad dude’ 90s. As time and technology progresses, so does the way we speak to each other. Text messaging and social media in particular, have had a large influence on millennial slang. It all began with acronyms used in online chat rooms back in the day. Let’s not forget the time when your crush messaged you back on MSN saying “nm u?” making your heart instantly skip a beat.
The older generations may look down on millennials, thinking we’re lazy individuals who apparently splurge on avo and toast instead of saving toward a house. But what makes the millennial generation so unique is how we’ve transformed the English language based on the way we interact with each other – we’ve essentially created something of our own. The millennial language has become so powerful that some of the largest brands use this language as an effective way to market their goods and services to young consumers. So next time you feel the urge to underestimate millennials, think again.
So what can we take from this? Slang may be cool for a period of time but it isn’t socially acceptable to use certain phrases forever. There’s a reason we don’t say ‘groovy’, ‘talk to the hand’ or ‘booyah’ anymore. Even ‘yolo’, a phrase used about five years ago that was an acronym for ‘you only live once’, would be considered a bit cringeworthy to use now. For the time being, let’s just embrace this contemporary slang that millennials have derived. You may be yeeting right now but who knows what you’ll be preaching in the next year or so. Until then, stay woke and keep it real, fam.